Monday, January 29, 2018

Are You a Winter Curmudgeon?

win-ter >n.  the coldest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from December to February.

cur-mudg-eon >n.  a bad-tempered or surly person.

          Remember when you were a kid and someone mentioned a snowstorm?  I do, and this was my reaction:  Sledding!  Snowman-building!  Snowball fights!
         And an ice storm was even more exciting:  Skating on the streets!  Or, at least an evening of skating, toasting marshmallows, and sipping hot chocolate at the local pond.

         As an adult, well, I sometimes have the opposite response to a forecast of winter weather:  
Shoveling, ugh.  I'd better not have to shovel out the chicken coop again.
Driving, ugh.  I bet the roads are a mess; how am I going to get into town to run my errands?
        And if there's ice:
Slipping and falling, ugh.  It's dangerous out there; what if I fall and tweak my back, or break a bone?  As for driving on ice?  Forget about it.

         I pondered my reaction to our latest snowfall and came to a starting conclusion:

I'm becoming a winter curmudgeon!
         Now, don't get me wrong—I still love to play in the snow.  It's the adult responsibilities, and also winter's hazards, that get me down.

         The cure for curmudgeon-ness?  Get outside and enjoy a bit of winter fun.

         That's just what Tim and I did last week as we skied the cross-country trails at Devil's Thumb Ranch and snowshoed Rabbit Ears Pass, both in Colorado.

Double Pole Cross-country Ski Trail at Devil's Thumb Ranch, Tabernash, Colorado.

Tim starts out on Ranch Walk Trail at Devil's Thumb.

A picture-perfect winter day.

Sunset over the Continental Divide.

Snowshoeing Fox Trot Trail at Rabbit Ear's Pass, east of
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

On the snowshoe/ski trail at 9429 ft. Rabbit Ears summit.

Farewell to another day of winter action and adventure!

         With the right clothing and the right attitude winter's wonders are every bit as amazing to this adult, as to the wide-eyed kid she once was.

         If you're lucky, yes, lucky enough to see snow this winter, promise yourself to partake of a day of winter adventure.
         And if you need more inspiration to get outside this season, please check out this blog where you'll be treated to a showcase of winter scenery from the mountains of New Hampshire:


  1. Clearly, you were having enormous amounts of fun! Lovely pictures, Rita

    1. Yes, we had lots of fun on this mini-vacation! The ranch ski trails were some of the nicest we've skied on, and you can't go wrong snowshoeing in the Colorado mountains.
      Thanks for your comments!

  2. What a thoroughly enjoyable posting, Rita. Loved it!

    I especially was taken with your statement that reads: “With the right clothing and the right attitude winter's wonders are every bit as amazing to this adult, as to the wide-eyed kid she once was.”

    And regarding your photos, all are beautiful and inspiring. There are three images that I particularly admire which are entitled: “A picture-perfect winter day”; “Sunset over the Continental Divide”; and “Farewell to another day of winter action and adventure”.

    Last, but by no means least, thank so much for including a link to my blog in your posting. I have returned the favor by updating my blog to include a link to your blog posting about winter!


    1. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed this winter post!

      And, you're welcome, John. I'm happy to direct readers to your blog—it's inspiring, and it reads like a New England Travelogue.

      Finally, thanks for including a nod to my blog on 1happyhiker!

  3. You caught my feelings about winter perfectly, Rita. I, too, have lost the sense of magic that used to accompany a big snow when I was young and, instead, fret about the work and pitfalls it presents. I needed this post. When I first moved to Craig, a friend told me that if I were to be happy during Craig's long winters, I would need to find a way to play in the snow. She was so right, and her comment caused me to take up cross country skiing and snowshoeing, both of which I've let lapse the last couple of winters. I need to remedy that.

    1. Your friend was so right, Janet. I don't downhill ski, so when I first moved to Salt Lake I was feeling a bit of cabin fever in the valley that first winter. In early March I joined a university-led snowshoeing field trip to the Uinta mountains—and my fever was cured!
      I took up snowshoeing and never looked back.
      It's SO easy just to stay inside after a snowstorm though, so I understand your lapse. I hope you're able to enjoy some fun in the snow (when you're in Craig, that is) this winter.